5 Common Orthopedic Problems In Infants And Children

Common orthopedic problems in infants and children almost always have to do with certain difficulties in walking or with abnormalities in the form of feet or legs. They usually resolve over time.
5 common orthopedic problems in infants and children

There are many common orthopedic problems in infants and children you should know about. Some of these conditions correct themselves as growth progresses. Others persist or develop and can develop into serious disorders.

Parents should be vigilant for common orthopedic problems in their children. However, there is no need to worry or panic. Many conditions seem serious, but are not really.

The best thing you can do is consult your doctor so that they can advise you on what steps to take. You should always wait for the time to come. In this article we will talk about the most common orthopedic problems in children.

5 common orthopedic problems

A child playing

There are a large number of orthopedic abnormalities that may be present at birth or appear during the first years of life. However, some are quite common. Among them, five stand out, which we will discuss below.

1. Flat feet

This is one of the most common orthopedic problems in children. In fact, almost all babies are born with flat feet, and the arch is formed only as they grow. But in some cases the arch is not completely formed, and that is when we talk about flat feet in the strictest sense of the word.

Flat feet are not really a problem. There is no evidence that this reduces the child’s ability to walk normally or play sports. Only in cases where this condition causes pain, doctors will advise on the use of special insoles in shoes.

Common orthopedic problems: Carrying the weight of the feet on the toes

This anomaly occurs when children walk on tiptoe. This is common when they learn to walk, in the period between 1 and 3 years. They usually give up this habit at the age of 2 years. However, some children continue to walk this way after this stage.

If they just walk on their toes occasionally, there is no problem. If this is their usual course of action, consult a pediatrician. In such cases, there may be a neurological problem such as cerebral palsy. If there is no additional disorder, the child will need treatment to learn to walk with a normal gait.

3. Lump foot

The clubfoot is twisted inwards. However, we must emphasize that babies present with this condition when they begin to stand up. This usually happens between 8 and 15 months of age. If the anomaly persists after this, it is considered a disorder.

Usually clubfoot is a result of the hips facing inwards. This is called the femoral anteversion. In most cases, this condition does not affect the baby’s normal movements and activities. It usually returns to normal over time.

Common orthopedic problems: Bent legs

Another common orthopedic problem in children is being wheeled, also called genu varum. In these cases there is an excessive curvature from the knee, outwards and downwards. Many times this problem corrects itself naturally.

If the abnormality persists beyond the age of 2 or affects only one leg, there may be a more serious problem: rickets or Blount’s disease. Rickets is a bone growth problem that occurs as a result of vitamin D deficiency.

Blount disease is a disorder of the tibia bone that causes abnormal bone growth. In such cases, specialized orthopedic treatment is required. Wheel bone can also be inherited.

5. Calf bones

Legs in the “x”, or genu valgum, are present in almost all children, but with a moderate shape. It seems that it is common between 3 and 6 years ago at this stage a natural process of adjusting the legs takes place.

It is common for the legs to straighten out on their own over time. Therefore, treatment is rarely necessary. If the “x” in the legs is very prominent or persists after the age of 6, you must consult a doctor about it.

How to diagnose these conditions

A little girl with a doctor
The pediatrician will perform a physical examination to determine the presence of orthopedic problems.

Diagnosis of common orthopedic problems in infants and children usually ends with a physical examination by a pediatrician. Only in special cases, additional tests such as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, electromyography or MRI are necessary.

The doctor will almost always look at the affected limb and sometimes ask the child to walk. When it comes to flat feet, they can ask the child to walk on tiptoe. When it comes to walking, they will observe the child’s natural gait.

Doctors diagnose club feet by observing the shape and positioning of the foot. For bowlegs, they examine the gait and crotch, and sometimes they order imaging tests. The latter is the most important diagnostic route for x-rays.

Child consultation is the best option

Common orthopedic problems also include other conditions that occur relatively often, such as “out-toe”, vertical talus or several positional problems.

For all these reasons, it is important to observe the development of gait in children. When in doubt, it is best to consult a pediatrician to evaluate the situation. In this, as in so many other cases, early detection and attention can be crucial.

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